Getting looser !

Getting looser !

It's foxglove season here in Devon, they are everywhere on the lanes, and I think they look amazing.

A question I get asked more than any other is how do I make my watercolours looser, or my painting is too tight, too controlled, I want them to be looser. And like most quests in life it's not easy.

I think as I have continued to paint, over the years I have realised , like with most things in life it comes from confidence and a willingness to let go !!

So I am so sorry but I don't think I can give you a magic formula but I can explain how I got to my loose painting of foxgloves. For some of you this will be too loose, for others not loose enough, for me this is where I can push myself now, and it pleases me to see where I've got to.

First I sketch out some fox glove shapes, you could do this afterwards but I like to do it first, it gives my brain something to hold onto.

I then used masking fluid to mark out the white dots in the flower trumpets.

Then I sprayed and wet the paper , and dropped, splashed, flicked on lots of different pink paint. I also dabbed some off with kitchen paper when I thought I'd gone too far .


Be as bold and playful as you want to be, perhaps as you  dare to be, then I threw on some table salt and cling film for good measure, and left it, I went out so I couldn't fiddle, the worst thing to do now is fiddle.


Once it is all completely dry see what you've got.

Here you can see where I put the masking fluid earlier 

I now go in with darker pinks, and greens, trying to pull out the flowers from the chaos. Let some edges bleed into the patterns you've made. 

Step back and see what emerges

Experiment .

Keep adding and taking away until you are happy. 


remove the masking fluid and fill in the darkest areas.

Finally I added a couple of bees, well I would wouldn't I?


This is tricky and takes practice so if your having a go be kind to yourself see see what happens.


No time spent painting is ever wasted !!  

Back to blog


Thank you.. this is so generous of you to share your technique ❤️

Colleen Down

That looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful work!


Leave a comment